From The New York Times: Space Junk: Orbiting Debris, Once a Nuisance, Is Now a Threat
From the article: “Now, experts say, China’s test on Jan. 11 of an antisatellite rocket that shattered an old satellite into hundreds of large fragments means the chain reaction will most likely start sooner. If their predictions are right, the cascade could put billions of dollars’ worth of advanced satellites at risk and eventually threaten to limit humanity’s reach for the stars.”
So if space programs aren’t doomed by psychotic astronauts, they are by space junk. Lovely.